Marco Scutaro moves to second base due to shoulder injury

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Marco Scutaro was signed to be the Red Sox’s shortstop and started each of his first 130 games there, but moved to second base last night in an effort to stay in the lineup despite what Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports is a partially torn rotator cuff.
For now the Red Sox are calling it simply “inflammation of a long-standing rotator cuff injury” and a source told Abraham that Scutaro likely will not require surgery. For now though Jed Lowrie started at shortstop, with Scutaro moving across the diamond to a position he has played 238 times previously in his career.
Scutaro indicated that doctors have told him the injury won’t get any worse by staying in the lineup, but added that “playing second makes it a little easier for me.” He’s owed $5 million for next season, with a $6 million team option, $3 million player option, or $1.5 million buyout for 2012, so assuming Dustin Pedroia’s foot injury heals as expected the Red Sox will need Scutaro’s shoulder at something resembling full strength next year.

Dodgers acquire Matt Kemp in five-player trade with Braves

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The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.

Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.

Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.